The Liberty Cell: Homefront – The Revolution

By Adam Smith on June 2nd, 2014 at 3:03 pm.

The sequel to Homefront that you probably weren’t eagerly anticipating has been announced in the form of a trailer that you can see below. There’s no in-game footage but we sent roving reporter Craig ‘Craig Pearson’ Pearson to get some first-hand impressions and he managed to enage my interest with one phrase: “It’s basically a sandbox City 17.” Maybe eager anticipation should begin right about now? We’ll have a full feature tomorrow with more on that but for now I’m left with a trailer that shows terrorists freedom fighters striking back at an oppressive military occupation. Drones, explosions and urban gunfights below the break.

If the chap with the box is the main character in this sandbox city game, I think he might need a more iconic piece of headwear.

It’s set in Philadelphia, hence my trying-too-hard headline with its multiple meanings (they’re a terrorist cell and liberty and cell sound weird together and there’s that big cracked bell and it’s Monday and I ran out of intelligence about three hours ago). I’m looking forward to seeing more (or indeed ‘any’) of the actual game but let’s all just express our disappointment at the subtitle. If you’re going to drop the two for a colon, at least say something imaginative. In fact, here’s an idea – if you could swap the subtitle for the title without losing any meaning, don’t bother. They’re close enough to be interchangeable.

The Revolution: Homefront. That could be a game about America being occupied, right? Change it around then. Do something fresh. I’d have gone with Homefront: It’s Never Sunny In Philadephia Anymore Because Of The Koreans.

Development of the new Homefront game is being handled by Crytek UK, formerly Free Radical.

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62 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    SKY SURVEILLANCE WHALE SAYS HELLO HOW IS YOUR DAY YES I SEE CARRY ON THEN

  2. Cinek says:

    Good graphics. But I have no clue why anyone would make a sequel to the game as bad as Homefront.

    • Moraven says:

      Because THQ was paying Crytek to. Homefront sold a good amount of copies. Not sure it made up for the pricey marketing campaign.

      Crytek got the IP on the cheap when THQ tanked then reworked the game for next gen consoles and open world.

      • Martel says:

        Wasn’t it on consoles too? I imagine they made plenty to warrant a sequel ($-wise that is).

        • Cinek says:

          Yes, it was. It even hit the OnLive service at some point.

        • secuda says:

          PS3 and Xbox 360… so my guess its going to PS4 and XOne as well.

      • Dave L. says:

        It sold a lot in its first week or so, but sales fell off a cliff almost immediately. Lost 90% of the playerbase in under 6 months.

        It was in no way profitable, but the THQ was totally desperate to create an in-house IP that could sustain them, but couldn’t afford another new IP marketing blitz, so the decision was made to try and make Homefront work.

    • Philomelle says:

      Adding to the above, the sequel was announced very quickly – six months after the original game’s release, at which point THQ already found a new team and development was well into concept phase. It seemed that they always intended for Homefront to be a franchise regardless of how well the first game sold.

      Regardless of whether that was the case or not, Homefront 2 was apparently so far into development by the time THQ folded that it was cheaper and more sensible for Crytek to snap up the license and finish the game than to cancel the project.

      • Moraven says:

        “That was kind of what we were,” with the sequel at the time THQ imploded. “We weren’t going completely with it, but it was kind of a level-by-level game.

        “When we acquired the IP, all of a sudden we had the freedom to take this game wherever we wanted,” he said. “We thought, what better way to do that than just go open-world with it.”

        Seems they are doing a bit more than just finishing it. Maybe added a year onto development? All that lovely looking engine work is not gone to waste.

        From that preview, it really sounds like Infamous open world but more. Which is a good thing.

    • LVX156 says:

      I loved the game, but it was a bit short. I’m all about story, and Homefront had an interesting twist. One of few first person shooters that I’ve actually played all the way through, and returned to.

  3. Cinek says:

    “Crytek UK, formerly Free Radical.” – not free anymore… unless that’s their scream for a revolution…

  4. botty says:

    Seems interesting, compared to the first one. Would have liked another setting though, Murica’s cities are boring to death.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      You’ve clearly never been to Savannah, Georgia or New Orleans, LA, or any one of the hundreds of US cities that would make excellent settings for games.

      I suppose you think Manchester is an interesting place.

  5. Moraven says:

    Makes me think of a more interesting Infamous open world setting. Second Son it was just you and a couple other Conduits the bad guy police were ever after. But there was the checkpoints and cages and what not like you see in this trailer. Citizens never started fighting with you if they liked you. They liked to take cellphone photos of you. Fun game but the DUP was never reactionary like how Crytek is describing how their game will the Polygon preview. Stay to long in a hot area, you will get overrun by air whales and a lot of other bad guys.

  6. ludovsky says:

    I still find amusing they used North Korea(a country with a population of only 24 millions, and with an heavily crippled economy. MAYBE 50-60 millions IF you include south Korea too) as the country to conquer and occupy 300 millions strong USA instead of 1 billion strong China because some guy from THQ was afraid a chinese(and thus -much- more realistic thanks to population and economy) antagonist would hurt the game’s chances to sell in China.

    Somehow, I don’t think a korean antagonist really improved sales that much there.

    • Kollega says:

      Oh yeah, I totally agree. The only way North Korea could take over anything is if other, more powerful countries bankrolled them secretly and gave them something more modern than AK-47s and five-times-retrofitted 1960s tanks in terms of weapons. But considering that North Korean regime is essentially communism-turned-fascism, that raises the question: why in the hell would anyone ever do that?

    • BobbyDylan says:

      No, they joined forces with Botswana and Jamaica, you see. Together they formed the axis of evil that brought ‘murica to it’s knees.

      • botty says:

        I think there’s even secret agents from the army of Andorre in the lot

        • Kollega says:

          And don’t forget the financial aid from Burkina-Faso and extra manpower secretly provided by the Republic of Molossia!

          (Wait a minute… if Molossia of all nations provided extra manpower, everything in the premise suddenly makes sense!)

      • Cinek says:

        Botswana spawned a 300 million-strong army of bots to conquer US soil. That’s the only way you can explain these events.

    • aldo_14 says:

      THQ was afraid a chinese(and thus -much- more realistic thanks to population and economy) antagonist would hurt the game’s chances to sell in China.

      Well, to be fair on their motivation, they were probably more worried that no THQ game would be allowed to be sold in China, ever again.

    • ganom says:

      It would be much more believable (and maybe better fit the “revolution” schtick) if the oppressing government in Bad Game Homefront 2 were the Ameri[THE REMAINING CONTENT OF THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN PURGED FOR NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS. FREEDOM AGENTS HAVE BEEN DISPATCHED TO APPRECIATE THE WRITER'S DISOBEDIENCE.]

      • MadTinkerer says:

        As much as I find that to be politically ridiculous in terms of “realism”, I would totally buy a game where it’s an Evil Mirror Universe Big Brother American Empire oppressing some noble small country…. just for some variety.

        • tormos says:

          Right. It would be totally unrealistic and impossible for the US to say, back an authoritarian regime that made pretenses of caring about the people in a 19 year long war against a popular rebellion. Forcing simple villagers from their homes and into the arms of the rebels? Using highly advanced technology against a poorly armed and equipped movement that had a groundswell of support from the people we were protecting? That could never happen in real life, especially not between, say, 1955 and 1975…

      • derbefrier says:

        dude we are already there and its slowly getting worse.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      It’s because they wanted to set their game in a possible near future, but all of the big Communist countries are also potential markets for the game. This is why WW2 shooters died out: the publishers wanted to sell shooters in Germany, and Germany hates Nazis so much they don’t even want to see them in their games.

      North Korea is basically an Asian banana republic on a peninsula, so they’re a safe target. It’s silly, but it’s probably the least ridiculous of a very short list of countries that both explicitly hate the U.S. and are not places where the publisher might want to try to sell the game.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        The gaming consoles in North Korea run on petrol and you have to pull on a cord to get them to start. They have Pong, but with just one paddle and no ball.

        • The Random One says:

          And the paddle is a metaphor for Dear Leader’s wisdom (so you can’t move it).

      • Chuckleluck says:

        I’m interested to know how this philosophy fits into the Battlefield series. They’ve explicitly had you fight Russian forces in most (if not all) their modern titles, as well as the Chinese in Battlefield 4.

        • Smion says:

          I’d argue that there is a difference between portraying a given country as an enemy in a fictional war (which, at least pre Battlefield 4, isn’t ever particularily contextualised/might happen for any number of reasons) or as an Orwellian nightmare turned reality complete with concentration camps and mass executions.

      • Smion says:

        Citation needed on the WWII games. Apart from having to replace swastikas with iron crosses, I can think of relatively few instances where games have run into trouble for featuring nazis, unless they and their ideology are portrayed in an explicitly positive way, which isn’t really ever the case in (mainstream) videogaming.

        Edit: I think it might also have something to do that when compared to the more “realistic” alternatives, North Korea is far more obviously fucked up and internationally isolated enough that we probably won’t get a different picture from sources we trust (we all probably either have at one point been ourselves there or at least know someone who has, so while we might disapprove of the way the russian government treats homosexuals or various ethnic minorities, we are also aware that there’s relatively little differences in the day-to-day life of an upper-middle-class kid in moscow and one in whereever you live.)

      • BlackLabel says:

        no we dont.

        germans LOVE to play games with nazis.

        *just DONT bring it up in a converstion*

        WW2 shooters died out because the market had enough at the time…just like MODERWURFAREFACECOPSKILLEAGLEZONE games nowadays…

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s hilariously bizzaro-world, isn’t it.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Indeed. It still stands as one of the more ridiculous plots I’ve ever seen in a video game. I don’t mind alternate history games like Wolfestein, but those are explained in such ways as to make it “believable” in the sense, that you’re willing to suspend reality and enjoy the game for what it is.

      But Homefront? Supposedly taking place in “our” near future? Who was on drugs when they came up with North Korea as the big baddy that somehow invades multiple, industrialized nations? They don’t even have a working air force right now, for crying out loud. They don’t have the money to fuel up their Vietnam-era MiGs, and even if they did, their pilots tend to fly across the border and defect.

      They really needed to choose a more believable belligerent nation than one that is too poor to even feed its own people, much less keep its military operating.

      P.S. Their AirForce still consists of Bi-planes.

    • The Random One says:

      They wasted an excellent chance to go Bioshock and say ‘no, Homefront isn’t about a fictitious world dominated by North Korean, it’s about many ficticious worlds in which Western civilization suffered economic collapse and was dominated by a culturally incompatible military power. On our new game the, uh, Austro-Hungarian empire are the baddies.’

    • nearly says:

      Look up the premise on Wikipedia or Youtube the opening. It’s not “near future” as in “this is tomorrow” but a sci-fi “what if x happened tomorrow” jumping off point that leads from place to place. The scenario they outline for the game isn’t all that farfetched as just sitting here thinking “could North Korea take over the US next year?”

  7. Kefren says:

    It’d be better if you were some kind of anti-copyright revolutionaries, attacking promotional video makers who slapped vague and confusing warnings in front of something they wanted people to have a favourable opinion of.
    “What? I can’t rent out this video from Youtube to people who’d be willing to pay good money to watch the video? Take that!”
    [Injunction served; explosions etc.]
    Later, back at the base.
    “Damn. If only people would pay us for showing them videos that are openly available on Youtube! We’d have the resources to fight this war.”
    “Never mind, son. You did your best,” said Commander McDonalds, resting a grizzled man-hand on the revolutionary’s shoulder. “It’s not your fault this was our opponent. Life would have been easier if we were up against Koreans in some tasty xenophobic American future history revisioning script written by a fifteen-year-old patriot with an erection.”
    The revolutionary nodded. In all recorded history, of every major conflict from the Real Videogames World archives, no-one had ever taken on weird legalese and won.
    The Commander attached his red nose and left.
    [More explosions, maybe a slow "Whhhooooom!" bass thump used in other trailers as things slowed down slightly, perhaps as someone jumps over a sword/under a bullet/into a pudding.]
    War, eh? War never changes.

  8. Dev says:

    Anyone remembers Freedom Fighters?

    Hankering for a sequel still, hoping that this game will be like it.

    • Ubik2000 says:

      Man, I was coming here to post that exact same thing (after googling to remind myself of the name of the game), since for a split second that’s what I thought this was about.

      Freedom Fighters was great. Interesting mission structures. I remember one level with three objectives – the barracks, a bridge and a helipad. You could take them out in any order, and every time you did, it would effect the enemy resistance (taking out the helipad means you didn’t have to deal with helicopters, etc.). Not complicated, but it really gave you a sense that you were having an impact on the overall battle.

      • soulblur says:

        Yes. That would be excellent. Freedom Fighters was a great structure to build on.

    • NicholasTimothyJones says:

      Me too! It was one hell of a game!

      I’m also waiting for TimeSplitters 4 or that “fan-made sequel”, TimeSplitters Rewind.

    • kyynis says:

      God, do I. For a moment I thought this post WAS about sequel for Freedom Fighters and my heart skipped a beat. Talk about major letdown.

  9. SirFagalot says:

    GARH! GRIT IN MY BLOODY EYE! AND WHEN DID I GO BLEEDIN’ COLOURBLIND! ARRH ALL I SEE IS GREY AND BROWN! ARRGH! Oh never mind, I just remembered the last 5 years.

  10. Haplo says:

    There’s that Adam Smith guy, trying to give us the hard liberty sell.

  11. PopeRatzo says:

    This might be a pretty good game in a lackluster year.

    • The Random One says:

      If I had to bet on anyone making a good Battlefield style game it’d have to be Crytek. It’s a safer bet than DICE at any rate.

  12. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Totally read that as ‘revolving reporter’, which would have been appropriate but silly.
    I evolve, but I don’t … revolve

  13. Bull0 says:

    “We’ve got a shoulder-mounted rocket which we can apparently get within striking distance of the checkpoint very easily but let’s send a suicide bomber in there anyway”

    Nobody on either side of that conflict had a fucking clue what they were doing, apparently. And still going with the plausible “USA brought low by North Korea” theme I see… yeah… whoever greenlit this is either some kind of mad genius or just the normal kind of mad

  14. GentlemanRaptor says:

    I’m kind of curious about the way they’re going with the story of this one, because at the end of the last Homefront game the Americans were winning, with EU support on the way. It’ll be interesting to see how they turn that around, at least if they can do it without being contrived.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      The EU was probably taken over by North Korea – duh. Did you know, a small, economically crippled nation with military assets from 5 decades ago can singlehandedly taken down all of NATO?

      What reality are you living in!?

      • tormos says:

        Let’s be honest, if we accept that in fiction the DPRK is strong enough to take over the US, the EU’s going to be a bit of a walk off afterwards, no?

  15. buzzmong says:

    Hmm, first Homefront wasn’t very good. Ignoring the plot, the shooting and mapping were poor, the former is criminal in an FPS.

    However, Crytek are behind this, which makes me think it might be at least half decent.

  16. HisDivineOrder says:

    Really wish they changed the premise when they did this game. Just reboot it. Few people have fond memories of the last game and they’d lose NOTHING by rebooting this series right now before it gets too far down the line. They could even go back and put the Chinese in as the villains as it was intended.

    Don’t you miss the Cold War? When we would just have the Soviets be the villains and when they didn’t like it, we’d shrug and say, “Yeah, whatever.”

    Now we’re worried the Chinese might have their feelings hurt between their stealing our drone technology by making agreements with Iran and North Korea, so we make absurd premises like the North Koreans rising up to conquer all of Asia–absurd–and then invading the US–again absurd.

    At this point, I’d take them just making up a country name rather than continuing the farce that is North Korea taking over the world.

  17. CallMeSarge says:

    Interesting thing – last year I was in Philly, and the best cheesesteak place I went to was Ishkabibbles, a Korean run joint on South street. Go figure.

  18. benzoate says:

    You evil capitalist scum will be docile from years of watching *your country here* Idol and playing latest MOBA game. Become fat and fused to their sofa. Glorious leader with mighty army will roll in and the best you will be able to manage is grab one last Doritto bit from your stomach’s fat folds before you die.

    PS – we will shave your head in accordance to Dear Leaders preferred style, so that you may die with a shred of dignity.

    All hail Dear Leader.

  19. The Random One says:

    It doesn’t matter how good cities in the US are for making video games on, there are thousands of interesting cities all around the world that have never had a game set on them, while there are like fifteen games set in Las Vegas (which is barely in the top ten most interesting US cities). For someone who is not in the US it’d be more interesting to see something closer to home than just rehash a setting that has been done to death. Even if you’re making a ‘new twist’ on that setting or showing something previously unknown, why not go all the way and just go to a new setting?